Hlaudi lashes out at opposition MPs over SABC 'noise'

2016-08-23 13:16 - Liesl Peyper
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Hlaudi Motsoeneng

Hlaudi Motsoeneng (Picture: City Press)

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Cape Town - The SABC is not apologetic and won’t be stopped by “the noise”, said the public broadcaster’s chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng on Tuesday during a parliamentary briefing.

“Why do people obsess about the SABC? Why so much interest? They shouldn’t be,” Motsoeneng said. “I don’t need to account to the them if they don’t give the SABC any money.”  

Motsoeneng was part of a delegation from the public broadcaster who briefed the portfolio committee on communications on the state of affairs at the national broadcaster.

The SABC has been mired in controversy because of a number of issues, including an editorial policy decision to ban the broadcasting of violent protests, the dismissal of eight journalists who had disagreed with the editorial decision and the refusal of Motsoeneng to step down, despite a number of court orders to do so.

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In July this year, the SABC’s decision to ban the airing of violent protests was set aside by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) in a court ruling and the body ordered the SABC to reverse its editorial policy.

During response time in parliament on Tuesday, Motsoeneng, like Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, defended the SABC’s decision to no longer broadcast violent protests.

He also took issue with Democratic Alliance MPs in the committee meeting who insisted on an extensive inquiry into matters at the SABC.

“Members of this committee,” he said, referring to the DA, “ have taken an oath and by raising some of these issues they are not adhering to the oath they are taking – especially the member from the DA (Phumzile van Damme). They do stuff they’re not supposed to do. These members (of Parliament) should be honourable, but some aren’t.”

The committee chairperson, Humphrey Maxegwana, later asked Motsoeneng to withdraw his comment that certain members were “not honourable”.

Motsoeneng concluded, saying: “The SABC is on track. We’re financially sustainable – noise or no noise.”

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